Red Patches With Silvery Scales: Plaque Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis can appear as inflamed, flushed skin with raised, silvery scales. On different skin tones, this can appear as purple inflamed skin and grey scales. The plaques happen due to a buildup of skin cells. The inflammation can be painful and itchy.
Plaque psoriasis can also present as nails and nail beds showing pitting or lifting up from the skin. Joints can be swollen and painful. Individual or multiple fingers or toes can become visibly swollen.
How Can You Ease Your Symptoms
Dr. Fernandez recommends using a moisturizing cream or ointment if you have either eczema or psoriasis. Keeping your skin moist is helpful because youre more likely to itch if your skin is dry.
Your skin can also benefit from these general health tips:
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Drink more water.
- Get plenty of exercise.
There is no cure for psoriasis and multiple types of eczema, including atopic dermatitis. But you can help limit the symptoms by getting proper treatment and taking good care of your skin, Dr. Fernandez says.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- How can you tell that I have inverse psoriasis?
- If I dont have inverse psoriasis, what other skin condition might I have?
- How can I prevent flare-ups and control my symptoms?
- What medicines do you recommend?
- Do the medicines have any side effects?
- What at-home treatments do you recommend?
- Do the at-home treatments have any side effects?
- What else should I do to improve my symptoms?
- Is there a cream or ointment that you can prescribe?
- Should I see a dermatologist or another specialist?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Inverse psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes a rash in areas of your body where your skin rubs against itself. It can make you feel self-conscious, and it can be unpleasant if it itches. However, it isnt contagious, and treatments can help your symptoms improve.
Its important to pay attention to your skin. Contact your healthcare provider as soon as you notice a rash.
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What Causes Psoriatic Rashes
Unfortunately, we dont yet know the exact cause of psoriatic arthritis or psoriatic rashes, although certain risk factors may play a role, including genetics and family history.
Roughly 40 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis have at least one close family member with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, says Dr. Haberman. Research is still ongoing, however, to determine whether a family history of psoriasis alone can increase your risk of psoriatic arthritis.
Other risk factors for psoriatic rash include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Taking certain drugs
Psoriasis Bumps On Skin
Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition usually characterized by red elevated patches and flaking silvery scales. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Symptoms can include: Dry or red areas of skin, usually covered with silvery-white scales and sometimes with raised edges Rashes on the scalp, genitals, or in the skin folds
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Psoriasis With Darker Skin
You can get psoriasis with all different skin colors, but it tends to look different on darker skin.
In African Americans, psoriasis is typically purplish in color with scaling that looks gray. In very dark skin, the psoriasis may also be dark brown and so harder to see.
Slightly lighter Hispanic skin tends to produce a dark pinkish-colored psoriasis and with a scale that looks silvery-white.
In addition, after psoriasis clears on these skin types, patches that are lighter or darker than the surrounding skin may remain for some time .
These are not scars, and they will clear after some time, though it can take from a few months to a year or longer. Your skin doctor may be able to treat them so they clear more quickly. Ask about this if the appearance of the patches bothers you.
Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center, St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons consultant for Amgen and Genentech.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
American Academy of Dermatology.
How Can Parents Help
For some children, psoriasis is just a minor inconvenience. For others, it is a difficult medical condition.
To manage symptoms and make outbreaks less likely, your child should:
- Wash hands well and often and stay away from people who are sick to prevent infections.
- Manage stress through exercise, yoga, or meditation.
- Not smoke or drink alcohol.
- Keep a healthy weight. People who are overweight tend to have more severe psoriasis symptoms.
Kids and teens with psoriasis may feel uncomfortable with the way their skin looks. Help your child understand that psoriasis is common and treatments can help.
Whether your childs psoriasis is mild or severe, learn about the condition together. Offer to help find a therapist or join a support group if that might help. Talk to your doctor or check websites like:
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Dry Cracked Skin: Irritation That Can Lead To Infection
Dry, cracked skin is a psoriasis symptom. However, dry air can also cause your skin to become dry and itchy. When the skin is dry and irritated , it’s more likely to get infected. Infection may cause your skin to become red and swollen. If you have any skin rashes that keep coming back or won’t go away, see your doctor. Most cases of psoriasis can be diagnosed with a physical examination but because psoriasis can look like many other skin conditions, a skin biopsy may have to be done to definitively diagnose it.
What Are The Types Of Psoriasis
Common types of psoriasis include:
Plaque psoriasis. This is the most common type of psoriasis. It causes plaques and silvery scales, usually on the knees, elbows, lower back, and scalp. They can be itchy and painful and may crack and bleed.
Guttate psoriasis. This type often shows up after an illness, especially strep throat. It causes small red spots, usually on the trunk, arms, and legs. Spots also can appear on the face, scalp, and ears.
Inverse psoriasis. This causes smooth, raw-looking patches of red skin that feel sore. The patches are in places where skin touches skin, such as the armpits, buttocks, upper eyelids, groin and genitals, or under a girl’s breasts.
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Psoriasis
There are several types of doctors who may treat psoriasis. Dermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders, including psoriasis. Rheumatologists specialize in the treatment of joint disorders, including psoriatic arthritis. Family physicians, internal medicine physicians, rheumatologists, dermatologists, and other medical doctors may all be involved in the care and treatment of patients with psoriasis.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Psoriasis
Dry, thick, and raised patches on the skin are the most common sign of psoriasis. These patches are often covered with a silvery-white coating called scale, and they tend to itch.
While patches of thickened, dry skin are common, psoriasis can cause many signs and symptoms. What you see and feel tends to vary with the:
Type of psoriasis you have
Places psoriasis appears on your body
Amount of psoriasis you have
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How Do You Develop Psoriasis
The exact cause of psoriasis isnt fully understood. Its thought that overactive T cells, which are cells that fight off viruses and bacteria in your body, are involved. In people with psoriasis, T cells attack healthy skin cells and activate other immune responses. This increases the production of healthy skin cells, T cells, and other white blood cells.
As a result, too many skin cells accumulate on the skins outer layer. This is why some types of psoriasis cause the skin to have a scaly appearance. It normally takes weeks for new skin cells to form, but in people with psoriasis, skin cells form within days. The body doesnt shed the excess cells and psoriasis lesions occur.
People with a compromised immune system, including those with HIV or those who get repeated infections, have a higher risk of getting psoriasis.
- sun exposure
- certain medications, such as lithium, blood pressure medications, and iodides
- heavy alcohol use
Smoking isnt just a psoriasis trigger. It may also be involved in its development and increase the severity of the disease.
Research shows that smoking may cause one in five cases of psoriasis and doubles your risk of getting the condition. This may be due to the effects of nicotine on skin cells, skin inflammation, and your immune system.
How Is It Diagnosed
There is no single blood or imaging test for diagnosing psoriatic arthritis. Patients with symptoms should be referred to a rheumatologist, where they will be examined.
If psoriatic arthritis is suspected, a doctor will investigate the skin, nails, joints, spine, and entheses, the junctions where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones. Theyll also check for any dactylitis, the sausage-like swelling in the hands and toes.
They will request X-rays of affected peripheral joints and the spine to look for cartilage and bone damage, as well as new bone formations. MRI and ultrasound scans may also help.
Patients will have routine blood tests looking for signs of inflammation, as well as a marker named HLA B27, present in approximately 25% of affected people.
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Irritant Or Allergic Contact Dermatitis
These are two other common kinds of eczema. They cause the same type of itchy, red, inflamed rash as atopic dermatitis. But the cause is an irritant or an allergen that comes in contact with your skin, often your hands or legs.
Poison ivy is the best-known allergen that can cause a reaction. But there are thousands of triggers. They include chemicals, fragrances, and metals. These forms of dermatitis come from the world around you, so if you can avoid your triggers, you can avoid the rash.
In severe cases, skin will blister, ooze, and scab over. But the symptoms go away with time. If you notice any scaling, it will be different from the thick silvery scales of psoriasis.
Red And Scaly Skin Patches
If your skin has developed red, inflamed and scaly patches, your rash is likely plaque psoriasis, the most common type of the disorder. The raised area of scaly skin is called a plaque. Psoriasis plaques can occur anywhere on your body, but the most common places include your scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back.
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Seborrheic Dermatitis: Itchy Scaly Patches
A psoriasis skin rash tends to itch, burn, and feel sore. Patches of psoriasis commonly occur on your knees and elbows. Many people also have scalp psoriasis. The common skin rash seborrheic dermatitis also causes scaly, itchy skin patches. It can occur on your scalp, where it may be called dandruff, or on your face and chest. While doctors don’t know the exact cause of seborrhea, it occurs across the age spectrum, in babies as well as in adults, and is usually treated with creams and lotions.
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, scalp, and nails. They’ll also ask whether someone else in your family has psoriasis and if you recently had an illness or started taking a new medicine.
Rarely, doctors might take a skin sample to check more closely. A can tell the doctor whether it’s psoriasis or another condition with similar symptoms.
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What Are The Treatment Options
Though the underlying causes are different, treatment is generally similar, Dr. Fernandez says. You should see a dermatologist for any rash that doesnt go away with over-the-counter medicine, he says.
- Topical cortisone, especially if you have a mild case.
- Immunosuppressive drugs for more moderate to severe cases.
- or ultraviolet light treatment for severe cases.
Also, eczema can prompt a secondary infection so your doctor may use topical and systemic antibiotics to remove bacteria and calm the inflammation.
Signs Your Rash Is Actually Psoriasis
Skin rashes are a common ailment. Youre not sure how yours got started, but its itching and bothering you.
Our board-certified dermatologists at A to Z Dermatology, with locations in Mesa, Sun City, Casas Grande, Gold Canyon, and Chandler, Arizona, are the professionals to see if you have a skin rash. Dermatologists are specially trained to identify and correctly diagnose your rash so that you receive prompt treatment and relief. You may have a chronic condition called psoriasis.
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How Do You Get A Psoriasis Diagnosis
Your physician will do a physical exam if they think you have psoriasis. They will probably also ask if you have any symptoms like itchy skin in addition to getting your medical history so they can learn if you have blood relatives with the condition or if youve experienced possible psoriasis triggers.
Your doctor may also remove a very small piece of your skin that can be analyzed to confirm that you have psoriasis, according to the AAD3. A biopsy can also help your doctor rule out other skin disorders and diagnose your specific form of psoriasis, according to the Mayo Clinic1.
For people of color, getting diagnosed with psoriasis can be really frustrating. Often, people with dark skin are misdiagnosed with other skin conditions because theres not enough medical awareness about how psoriasis looks on skin of color.
The length of time youve have psoriasis, any treatments you are using to help your symptoms, and scratching your flare can change the way psoriasis looks, according to Dr. Wassef. So, your physician might do a biopsy just to confirm that you do have psoriasis if they cant tell visually.
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Celiac Disease Rash On Hands
Silent celiac disease is also known as asymptomatic celiac disease. Patients do not complain of any symptoms, but still experience villous atrophy damage to their small intestine. Studies show that even though patients thought they had no symptoms, after going on a strict gluten-free diet they report better health and a reduction in acid reflux, abdominal bloating and distention and flatulence.
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How To Tell Whether That Itchy Rash Is Eczema Or Psoriasis
Do you have a dry, itchy, red rash that doesnt seem to go away? You may have eczema or psoriasis. Both conditions have similar symptoms and both can run in families, which can make it difficult to distinguish one from the other. These similar skin conditions are often managed with similar treatments, but there are differences you should know.
What About Physical Contact
Before doctors knew what caused psoriasis, they often confused it with leprosy and people who had it were considered contagious. But now we know that you cannot catch the condition by brushing up against someone who has it. You also cant get it from kissing, having sex, or swimming in the same water.
People get psoriasis because of their genes, not because of bad hygiene, their diet or lifestyle, or any other habits. They didnât get it from someone else, and they cannot infect others.
Even so, thereâs a lot of stigma around the condition, which can be hard for people who have it. They might feel uncomfortable when people stare at their lesions or avoid touching them, and they may try to hide their outbreaks under long clothing.
If you have psoriasis, you can help put an end to confusion and misunderstandings about the disease by talking openly with friends, family, and co-workers. And if you know people who have it, make sure they know that their condition doesnt affect your opinion of them or make you not want to be around them.
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How Is Guttate Psoriasis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider can usually diagnose guttate psoriasis by examining the affected areas of your skin. They may also order the following tests to confirm their diagnosis:
- Skin biopsy: A sample of skin may be taken for testing to confirm the diagnosis of guttate psoriasis.
- Throat swab culture: This test looks for bacteria like those that cause strep throat, especially group A streptococcus. People with guttate psoriasis commonly test positive for this bacteria.
- Blood tests: Your healthcare provider may order blood testing to look for immune system markers that show a current or recent bacterial infection. These tests are commonly called titers.
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The Causes And Triggers Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a hereditary disease, but researchers have noticed that only about one third of those who are diagnosed with psoriasis have other family members with it. The rest have no family history at all.
Its also an autoimmune disease, so whether you have the genes or not, psoriasis happens because your immune system starts attacking your healthy skin cells. It doesnt kill them, but an inflammatory response to something causes them to multiply and grow much faster than they should.
Instead of taking about 23 days for your skin cells to mature, die and slough off, they mature in as short as 3-5 days. They also change form and texture, and the result is those thick, scaly patches.
The job of your immune system is to fight off invaders like viruses, bacteria or other toxins, and keep you healthy. Occasionally, however, the system goes haywire, and gets hyper-activated.
In an autoimmune disease like psoriasis, your immune system starts running on auto-pilot. Instead of destroying the bad bugs, it starts attacking your healthy cells by mistake.
Autoimmune diseases are often genetic, but they dont always act up unless something sets them off.
Psoriasis can be triggered by an illness or infection , a poor diet, excess weight gain, certain medications, chronic stress, excessive and frequent alcohol use, a bad sunburn or environmental toxins, like pollution or cigarette smoke.
Other triggers can include gut dysfunction, as well as gut microbiome imbalances .
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